I came across this article in The Age by Sarah Berry in relation to surprising revelations by Victoria’s Secret model, Cameron Russell as to the superficiality of the image and what really goes on behind the glamorous world of modelling to which many young women may aspire! Here is The Age’s article Power of Image.
Watch this short video of Cameron’s TED talk which ends with the take home message of:
“…let’s hope we all feel more comfortable acknowledging the power of image in our perceived successes and our perceived failures.”
Here are some quotes from her talk:
“Image is powerful, but image is also superficial”
“I am a pretty, white woman, and in my industry we call that a sexy girl… I won a genetic lottery, and I am the recipient of a legacy… [that defines] beauty not just as health and youth, but also as tall, slender figures and femininity and white skin,” she says, noting that, in 2007, less than four per cent of models on the runway were non-white. “And this is a legacy that was built for me, and it’s a legacy that I’ve been cashing out on.”
“People ask me… ‘What is it like to be a model?’ And I think the answer that they’re looking for is, ‘If you’re a little bit skinnier and you have shinier hair, you will be so happy and fabulous,'” she says.
‘The thing we never say on camera, and I’ve never said on camera is ‘I’m insecure’ and I’m insecure because I’ve to think about what I look like…everyday
“If you are ever wondering, ‘If I have thinner thighs and shinier hair, will I be happier?’ you just need to meet a group of models, because they have the thinnest thighs and the shiniest hair and the coolest clothes, and they’re the most physically insecure women probably on the planet.”
In a series of side-by-side photos showing her in modelling pictures and her ordinary every day appearance, she says: “These [modelling pictures] are not pictures of me, they are constructed”
“Of the 13 years old girls in the US, 53% don’t like their bodies and that number goes up to 78% by the time that they are 17.”
This brave and candid talk by Cameron sheds strong light on the power of our perceptions and beliefs in shaping our judgements about what we see, which we take for ‘reality’, most of the times far from the truth!! (read also Healing and change beyond ‘belief’ .
In this case what we may consider pretty, desirable, beautiful, sexy and so on, could in truth be far from the natural beauty for which we all have innate capacity to discern. Unfortunately our innate capacities are continually damaged and distorted by our upbringing, cultural norms and of course advertising.
Fortunately we can reverse the process by getting to know our true self, our Essential self. This is the path to true wellbeing, the path and goal of the Perennial Philosophy for personal wellbeing and social harmony.